Hepatitis

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    How long a course of treatment for hepatitis C takes depends on a few factors, including the type of the virus (genotype) you have, whether you’ve developed scarring of the liver (called cirrhosis) and whether you have been treated for the infection unsuccessfully before. In general, treatment typically ranges from 8 weeks to 48 weeks. The treatment is usually shortest in people who don’t have cirrhosis and haven’t been treated before.
     
    There are six genotypes of the hepatitis C virus. The combination of medications used to treat the infection and the time to complete treatment vary for each genotype. Researchers are testing drug regimens that can shorten the treatment time to as little as 8 weeks in some people. 
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    You can contract hepatitis A via the following circumstances:
    • drinking contaminated water
    • eating raw shellfish from polluted water
    • close contact with someone who is infected
    • sexual intercourse with someone who has the virus
    • eating food that was handled by someone who didn't wash his or her hands thoroughly after using the bathroom
    You are at an increased risk of contracting hepatitis A if you do the following:
    • travel to regions with high rates of hepatitis A
    • use illicit drugs (injected or non-injected)
    • live with another person who has hepatitis A
    • work in a setting where you might be exposed to the virus
    • receive clotting factor concentrates for a medical condition
    For most women, the biggest risk factors are sexual or household contact with an infected person or travel to countries where hepatitis A is common.

    This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
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    Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted during birth. Infected babies may carry the virus for the rest of their lives but most do well during childhood. All pregnant women should be tested for hepatitis B early in pregnancy. Pregnant women are not routinely tested for hepatitis C because they have no greater risk than nonpregnant women. Only about 4 percent of hepatitis C-positive women pass the virus to their infants, and there is no evidence that hepatitis C is passed through breastfeeding. Vaccinating a baby at birth and giving it an immune globin (HBIG) shot can protect it from developing a hepatitis B infection from an infected mother.

    This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
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    Hepatitis D only occurs in people with hepatitis B, and it can make an existing hepatitis B infection worse. Luckily, hepatitis D is uncommon, affecting less than 5 percent of people with hepatitis B. Because hepatitis D only occurs in people with hepatitis B, you can protect yourself against both by getting the hepatitis B vaccine.

    This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
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    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children be vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that at-risk infants, or infants of parents requesting vaccination, undergo hepatitis A vaccination at age 1.

    This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
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    Following are ways you can avoid getting hepatitis A, B and C:

    The hepatitis A vaccination is the best way to prevent infection by hepatitis A virus (HAV). Other ways to stop the spread of HAV are:
    • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
    • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before preparing or eating food.
    • If you're traveling to a high-risk area, such as an undeveloped nation, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need a vaccination. Also, ask about good hygiene practices and clean, safe water supplies where you're traveling. You may be told to avoid uncontrolled water sources, raw shellfish and uncooked food. All fruit should be washed and peeled. Boiling water or adding iodine inactivates the virus.
    • People with HAV infection who are treated at home should follow strict hygiene precautions, as should those around them.
    The hepatitis B vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV). Other ways to stop the spread of HBV are:
    • Do not share needles.
    • Practice safe sex.
    • Do not share razors, toothbrushes or other personal items.
    • Use only clean, sterile needles for tattoos and body piercings.
    There is no vaccine to prevent the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The only way to prevent HCV is to avoid direct contact with infected blood. Other ways to stop the spread of HCV are:
    • Do not share needles.
    • Practice safe sex.
    • Do not share razors, toothbrushes or other personal items.
    • Use only clean, sterile needles for tattoos and body piercings.
    • Get medical care if you are exposed to blood or needle sticks at work.
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    Hepatitis B is a specific form of hepatitis (a virus that inflames the liver). Known as HBV (hepatitis B virus), it is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, there are an estimated 1.2 million chronic carriers (people who live with HBV on an ongoing basis). This group accounts for roughly 17,000 hospitalizations and 5,500 deaths each year.

    In the U.S., hepatitis B is usually transmitted through multiple sexual partners, unsanitary household practices and using dirty needles. The latter involves drug use, tattoos or body piercing. Sometimes health personnel are at risk after coming in contact with needles from infected patients.

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    Hepatitis B (HBV), a viral infection of the liver, is diagnosed through eight different blood tests. Fortunately, all the tests can be done using just one blood sample you provide.

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    It depends on whether you have a case of acute or chronic hepatitis B (HBV). Generally acute HBV clears on its own. It may take several weeks before you feel better, though.

    Once your condition becomes chronic (it doesn't go away), you will probably be prescribed medication. There are several medications for this condition, so discuss your options with your doctor.
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